Wednesday, 8 May, 2013 – 15:03
The union for wood and forestry workers is backing calls for an inquiry into forestry safety.
Today MPs Darien Fenton and Denise Roche tabled a petition in Parliament calling for the government to conduct an inquiry into health and safety in the forest industry.
FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid said forestry was one of New Zealand’s most dangerous industries, and the four deaths this year alone should serve as ample reason to get to the bottom of the poor health and safety practises in the sector.
“Deaths in forestry are of the magnitude of a Pike River disaster every 6 to 7 years. Forestry is a dangerous industry, and we cannot accept that leaving the responsibility of health and safety to forest contractors alone is acceptable.”
“An inquiry won’t bring back the lives of those four men in forestry who died this year to their loved ones, or the twenty one who died in the five previous years.”
“But it will help us better understand what is going wrong in our forests. As we saw with Pike River, independent inquiries can be extremely useful tools to improve safety.
“What is needed is a commitment from government to hold an inquiry and the full support of forest owners and contractors to participate,” Robert Reid said.